Business

Volunteer and ‘Be a Saint' for the day

Angelic cherub Sophie Douglas 7) urges volunteers to sign up for Be a Saint Day on Friday March 16. With her are (from left) Denise Hayward, chief executive of Volunteer Now; Denise Cranston, head of communities at Business in the Community and Emma Gibson, Henderson Group HR manager

EMPLOYERS from across the north are being urged by Business in the Community to release their employees for the annual 'Be a Saint Day' on Friday March 16 to help a range of charities through volunteering.

Taking place in partnership with Volunteer Now and supported by Spar, ‘saintly' duties will include a range of fun, practical challenges – from running a charity shop for a day to garden maintenance.

Locations include Antrim, Banbridge, Ballymena, Ballymoney, Bangor, Belfast, Carrickfergus, Carryduff, Cookstown, Derry, Downpatrick, Drumahoe, Enniskillen, Greyabbey, Holywood, Larne, Lisburn, Maghera, Newtownards, Newry, Newtownabbey, Omagh and Whitehead.

Hilary Hanberry, communities manager at BITC, said: “Be a Saint Day is an opportunity for businesses and their employees to roll their sleeves up and give something back to their local communities in a ‘hands on' way - from furniture up-cycling to gardening or helping out at animal sanctuaries. Last year 25 businesses took part, and we hope to eclipse that this time.”

Bronagh Luke, head of corporate marketing for the Henderson Group, owners of the Spar franchise in Northern Ireland, said: “Last year over 350 volunteers took part, giving 2,136 hours directly to their communities.

"This is an enormous support to the charities involved, who otherwise wouldn't have the resources to carry out many of the tasks. We hope we'll see just as many people get involved this year, if not more.”

Denise Hayward, chief executive of Volunteer Now, added: “Volunteers make a tremendous contribution to communities across Northern Ireland. Many local organisations wouldn't be able to deliver services deeply valued by many people without their time and dedication. This day of volunteering action is a great way to make a difference in the community and have some fun at the same time.”

To find out more or register to take part email angela.mccartney@bitcni.org.uk or call (028) 90460606. If you are a voluntary and community organisation and would like to put forward a group volunteering opportunity, e-mail lorraine.smyth@volunteernow.co.uk or call (028) 90232020.

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